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What gear are you carrying?

As  a self-confessed kit freak, I’m always interested in other people’s gear set-ups and seeing what they’re carrying on the river. Here’s what I carried for a season of raft guiding this summer in Japan…

First of all, I’ve been using the Palm FXr buoyancy aid and WWTC 18m Classic Throwline. My buoyancy aid is set up with a cow tail and HMS karabiner, to quickly clip in to a rope for rescue work:


I like to split my wrap kit between my throwbag belt and the pocket of my vest, so as not to make my buoyancy aid too bulky when climbing back in to a raft. Here’s what I have with me on the river:


WTCC 18m Classic Throwline, belt mounted.

Ear plugs, because “Surfer’s Ear” sucks. I wear these all the time for kayaking, but often take them out so I can hear when rafting.

Waterproof watch, on my buoyancy aid strap

– Fox 40 rescue whistle worn on the outside of my buoyancy aid. Works when wet and incredibly loud.

– 2 x 5mm prussik cords for MA systems using skinny throwbags. I usually have larger diameter prussiks in my pelicase for working with bigger wrap-ropes.

– 3 x HMS screwgate karabiners for creating MA systems

– 2 x Petzl “Fixe” pulleys for Z drags and Pig Rigs.

Palm Safety Tape with HMS Karabiner. Flipline, short throwline, sling for anchors… truly multi-purpose. I took the knot out in the end, as I find myself throwing it more often than using it as an anchor.

CKRT Bear Claw knife. Externally mounted and easy to use with one, often cold hand.

I made  a few changes throughout the season. The pulleys found their way in to my Pelicase, as I decided that they were more likely to rust than get used any time soon. I also added a second tape sling, to be able to set up pig rigs without having to borrow gear off other guides.

Different rafting companies have different rules on first aid kits. This summer, all guides had to carry their own kits, so I built my own from scratch and stored it in a waterproof 1150 Pelicase:


It was nearly large enough… nearly. Next season I will be looking at getting a 1200 case, to be able to carry more first aid supplies in. For those wondering what should go in to a commercial guide’s first aid kit, take a look at this excellent article.

So there you have it – that’s my gear. What do you carry on the river?




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